Step 1. Write down your plan. Business plans are a great way to deal with potential problems before they come up. Evaluating financing, insurance issues, slow sales, etc. can all be addressed before the doors to your new business open when you write a business plan.
Step 2. Use free and local resources. Networking is important when starting a business. Local resources, such as SCORE, can help you obtain grants, understand how to file for a license properly and introduce you to potential new clients.
Step 3. Determine the legal structure of your business. For this step you want to use local resources and a qualified attorney to discuss personal financial circumstances and your business model. An attorney can help you select the right licensing for your company.
Step 4. Understand employer responsibilities. This is a biggie. Different states have different laws and stipulations. If you're going to hire one or one hundred employees you will need to know what you can and can't do when it comes to employment. You will also have to understand what financial responsibilities you will hold to the state as an employer. The SBA has a great resource located here: http://www.sba.gov/content/10-steps-hiring-your-first-employee
Step 5. Register your business name. Many businesses have a legal name and a doing business as (DBA) name. If you will operate as a DBA, you need to set up a fictitious business name with your state. Registering your DBA is done either with your county clerk’s office or with your state government, depending on where your business is located. There are a few states that do not require the registering of fictitious business names. Thus, make sure you ask local free resources and/or your attorney if you need to register your DBA.
Best of luck,